Elia Locardi is Back

Shooting With a Toy Camera: The Holga

The Holga 120 GCFN is a plastic medium format camera with a fixed 60mm f/8 lens, complete with over-the-top vignetting and light leaks. But for many, that's the joy of a toy camera. See what's it like to shoot with this cult classic.

Holgas were originally designed to be a cheap camera for the masses in China, but as 35mm took over as the reigning format, they suddenly became rather undesirable with the waning 120 market. They were revitalized, however, as artists began to flock to them for their flaws and the element of chance that was imposed on the final product, as well as the way the camera's quirks shaped the process. George Muncey of Negative Feedback took one out for a spin, and it's interesting to hear his take on the camera in addition to seeing the results. I certainly find some charm in the images, but as he mentions, it's hard not to wonder if one is willing to take a shot with the Holga if they would also prefer to just take the shot with a modern, high quality camera. I suppose choosing to embrace the flaws for their own beauty is an individual decision. Either way, it's very interesting to watch. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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i could only make it thru 1:44 of this. must be a slow day at fstoppers.